You have 40 minutes to write this composition. Go! Cue in the heart palpitating like the tom-tom drums of West Africa. You have to make sure you create a situation where that simile will apply in your composition, right? If you remember those times, you are Kenyan. Congratulations. If you remember that simile, you are definitely a millennial, Generation Y species. Pat yourself on the back. You wrote about being lost in a forest. You wrote about being kidnapped. You wrote about a fire at your neighbour’s. You wrote about the day you would never forget. And that day was always about some cheesy event where you either won something or toured some special place. This is where you went all out, whether in truth or in fiction. There was no Instagram or Facebook to show people. You could only do it in paper and only your teacher could see it. Continue reading
Today’s Throwback Thursday post is for you 4Wians, class of 2007, Alliance Girls High School. It so happens that I used to record all these things somewhere before I had a blog. Yesterday I pulled out my diary from back in the day and found these funny memories tucked in there. I laughed so hard my baby sister was not pleased with me. Here goes:
If you remember these events (not in chronological order), you were indeed in 4W in the year 2007. I will withhold classmates’ names for obvious reasons.
The day Mr. Ayiro caught us in the noise-making act during preps and switched off the lights on us. That did not stop us from going on. So he came back and ordered out in the dark, outside Homan Block to sing rhymes and singing games. Didn’t we have fun! Unbelievable lot.
The day Mrs. Mbugua made a lecture about noise-making during one of the weekly chapel briefings then we went right ahead to make a din in class. Needless to say, I was one of the main culprits. So we ended up in the farm after finding jembes and changing into those tracksuits. Of course we dug, but not without drama here and there; taking photos, roasting maize, basking in the sweet sun and basically having a blast! Of course there were blisters the next day but hey, we were looking on the bright side.
The day Mr. Nangulu concluded a boring literature lesson by saying something to this effect “Tell your classmates to bring their night gear in the next lesson. The same rain that falls on sugar-cane is the same one that falls (on some bitter herb I cannot remember as I was still half asleep).” Basically he was hinting at all of us who had been aswatch (asleep) for the better part of that afternoon double.
The day Bi. Nkonge caught one of us asleep as usual and told her, “Wewe hata Yesu akirudi atakupata ukiwa umelala!”
The day one of us had not written a certain essay but was unfortunately picked to read it out to the rest of the class. The mad girl went ahead to read a blank page to us. She did it so meticulously she was not caught! For those of us who knew what she was up to, it was downright hilarious!
The day someone suggested that the name Bi. Keti from Mwisho wa Kosa was jina la majazi because the mama had very many problems that made her sit down. And this someone was so serious she did not even flinch when we burst out laughing.
The ‘partnership’ drama between us and 4D across the valley. I will not pursue this further.
The day we had a farewell ‘picnic’ in the field courtesy of Mr. Nangulu. Aaawww, that was just so sweet!
The day 1Wians took our cups from our Para tables and they had to write apology letters to each of us! Aki that was bullying but still funny in retrospect.
Mr. Ayiro’s ‘big word for today’ over his history lessons and the girl who would take out a dictionary every time he walked in.
The day someone scribbled ‘free’ on the space allocated to the history lesson on the chalkboard. Upon seeing this when he walked in, Mr. Ayiro proceeded to tell us that we reminded him of the 3Y class of 1999 whose members were all suspended. *Shiver*
The day we were last to get to parade and to make it worse, some of us were strolling. So when a few of us were already in place on the parade ground, Mrs. Mbugua told the unlucky ones to stop where they were and get out of the school for crosso! (cross country) In the morning! Fully dressed!
The day we sat for a Kiswahili exam featuring never-heard-of methali. One of them read: “Akupaye kisogo__” So one of us bright ones completed it as “Akupaye kisogo labda ana viwili.” Kwaaa!
There you have it. You can’t make this stuff up! Those were good times. There are more memories in the list but I chose to keep them out of here as they are a bit sensitive. If you remember an epic moment I seem to have forgotten, hit me up!
Hope you are all doing well wherever you are Wians, and all Busherians in general. Walk in the light! :*
Today, I will be all historical. I will do something I have never done before. I will talk about my former high school. I loved it. I had dreamt of attending it since I was a little girl. Some of my best moments happened there. Five years down the line, the memories are still etched in my brain.
I love singing. I love music. I believe it is the easiest way to get a concept into my head. The music has to make sense though and it also has to be something I will not be ashamed to blurt out in front of people. What has this got to do with high school, you ask? I guess you will find out.
That said, here is a little of my life at Alliance Girls High School, songs and all. Somehow, most significant memories I will tie to songs and effortlessly so.
On my first day in Dorcas Luseno House, my sweet house mum handed me the beautiful school song written down on a piece of paper. As the shaky new student I was, my first thought was Pressure! (Ok, pressure was a catchphrase in high school right around the time I got in, so I couldn’t have possibly thought that because I had not learnt it yet. Oh well.)
Moving on, I heard the school song sang for the first time and was completely blown away. It was the sweetest song I had ever heard. I wish I could sing it to you. Here goes:
Friends are precious, they are the best of all things that one can ever have,
Nothing material can take the place of the comradeship between you and I.
Genuine friendship has no jealousy, no pride,
It has no envy and no lies.
It has no room for loneliness and pain,
Because it’s all based on love, based on love
The light of Alliance has always been, and forever will be our guide.
Challenge can never alter the course of the goals we’ve all set for our lives.
The light of Alliance stands for unity and hope,
It binds us together makes us one,
It gives us the strength to courageously go forth,
All in the power of the Lord, of the Lord!
All through the four years I was there, I fought tears every time we sang it, our left hands placed on the crest that adorned our jerseys. I imagined we did that to sing to our hearts below that crest. Needless to say, I loved that it reminded us to love, walk in the light and with the Lord.
The other thing I had always known was that I was going to join choir. Mostly because I had watched the girls and the boys (from across the valley) sing a couple of times in my childhood. I went for the auditions that first Saturday. I am not sure what I sang but I got in. That was the beginning of an amazing journey.
Most set pieces were typically old, I guess that’s why they sounded so good. I particularly remember ‘Follow Me Down to Carlow’. There is a certain joy that comes with getting all the notes and words right in a set piece. It is even more awesome when the different altos and sopranos belt out the complete tune.
“Girls, round your voices!”
“Sing from the stomach!”
“Don’t take sugar tonight!”
These are some of the directives that would characterize most talk in the music room most evenings.
Then there was mixed choir. The boys from our brother school would come over or we would go to their school. We sang timeless pieces like ‘Gentle Lena Clare’ and ‘Zadok the Priest’. We the girls loved mixed choir so much but pretended like we did not. Just to speak for myself, I loved it but did not make the most out of it. As naïve as this may sound, I loved mixed choir because it brought tenor and bass into the arrangement, not because I would hang out with boys.
I was the most antisocial girl you could have met back then. Immediately practice was over, I would take to my heels to avoid any contact with a boy. Yeah, most of the friends I have from ‘Across’ today, I met after high school. (Across was the name we called Alliance High School. They also called our school that. Do not get confused. Both the schools are known as Bush among peers but Across to each other. A student at Across is an Acrossian. I guess I should quit the slang lessons now.)
To cut the long story short, mixed choir came to an upsetting end that year. We were abandoned but put on brave faces. So determined were we to prove that we could make it on our own that we practiced day and night for the Negro spiritual ‘Every Time I Feel the Spirit’. When we sang it at the Church of the Torch over a Joint Institutional Service, commonly known as JIS, I can tell you the Spirit was in us. Negro spirituals were my favourite songs in choir. They possess this intensity that makes you so delighted to sing for the Lord.
Then there were the annual Easter and Christmas Carol services. These were glorious. I learnt new carols and loved the renditions. Basically, half of my life in Bush was spent in choir. I cannot possibly recount everything that happened and where it took me.
All I can say is that what I am today, what I know, me and Jesus, all were made solid in Bush. And I cannot even begin to deny the power of music. Think about it.
That will be all, for now.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:1-2